Accompanying Bob Deffinbaugh sermon: The Fall of Man
Accompanying John MacArthur sermons: The Promise of Redemption Part 1 and Part 2, and The First Sacrifice
In today's passage we find the first time that God is presented as Saviour. We see the beginnings of His plan of redemption, to bring salvation to a fallen humanity.
MacArthur: From man's side there are essentially two things...faith and hope.....We have to believe in the Lord to be saved. We have to believe His Word, put our trust in what He's said and what He's promised. And then having believed we live in hope for something we have not yet seen or received. And so it is required that we be characterized by faith and hope. That's on our side.
We know way more than Adam knew. But what God had revealed, Adam believed. Adam and Eve were sorry they had fallen for Satan's deception and chosen to believe Satan instead of God, that they had chosen to enjoy the immediate gratification of sin instead of the joy of obedience to God.
Deffinbaugh: Satan always emphasizes the present pleasures of sin while keeping our minds from their consequences. Sin is never worth the price.
The desire for the pleasures of sin comes at the cost of disobedience and unbelief which results in the loss of blessing - whether that was the blessing of Eden, the blessing of the Israelites living in the Promised Land, or the blessing of eternity in the presence of God.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable grace! The consequences of sin are high indeed, but God's mercy reaches to even greater depths, if we but believe God and daily live in that faith and hope.
God has to provide atonement or covering for sin. In our passage we see that represented by God killing the first ever sacrifice - an animal - to provide a covering of clothing for Adam and Eve, to cover their shame.
I find it so sad, that even among a married couple, with no other human being in sight, they were ashamed and filled with evil thoughts in their nakedness. Sin destroys every relationship.
But God provides redemption through atonement. God required death for sin. But rather than requiring the immediate physical death for Adam and Eve, God kills a substitute in order to satisfy His wrath and judgment. Now the animal's death didn't do that, it couldn't. Only Christ's death could satisfy God's wrath and judgment. But the animal's death foreshadowed Christ's death and was the picture of what was to come in its fullness in God's timing.
God also keeps the believer secure.
And it was His grace that kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden, away from the Tree of Life. If they had eaten of that tree, they would've lived in a state of sin and decay forever - truly hell on earth. And God's grace didn't allow that to happen. Truly death, in this sinful world, is a blessing. It doesn't seem that way to us because it's so hard for us to see beyond this temporal world, but it really is. Imagine living in unimaginable pain without the possibility of death bringing release. Imagine the evil and horror that would be wrought by evil men if they knew they could do anything they wanted to you and you wouldn't die. No, death is a blessing for the believer as it ushers them away from this sinful world of death and decay and into the eternal presence of God to live forever the way He intended us to live - free from sin and its effects forever.
In grace God saves us, and in grace God keeps us.
Currently, we are not fit for the fullness of His presence, and so we live in hope of the day that will come when we will be fit for His presence. And the reason we hope, is because we've experienced sin and the curse, and we long to be cured from its consequences.
Adam and Eve, along with all the saints that came after them, are now experiencing that blessedness that we still hope for.
This passage shows us, not only the awfulness of sin and its consequences, but the introduction of the gloriousness of salvation.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Genesis 4:1-16